This is a repeat article from my homehealthcaregiverjob.com. I believe it is an important article to have on both of my sites.
I decided to write this piece, because with all the things that caregivers have to deal with, one of them is loneliness.
I remember, and I don’t believe people appreciate it, but my friends stopped inviting us to things. I am sure
they thought they were helping, because they figured, they would probably say NO, anyway, so why invite then. So I guess, I am writing this to the friends, of people who have friends, who are caregivers.
They already feel isolated, especially when there is only the two of them in their house or apartment. And when the invitations stop coming, the caregiver really feels isolated. Now they realize, that the people who you enjoyed being around are now moving away from you. If I can explain it in a way that the friend can understand it, it is like being in the universe all by yourself. Like sitting on the edge of the world, looking into the stars, with not one other person there. Quite a lonely place to be.
I hope the people who read this, reach out to the friend who is going through this. Don’t think you are bothering them, you are not. It is just nice to know, that someone cared enough to call and talk about nothing or anything, they don’t just want to talk about their present situation. Talking on other subjects, is like a mental vacation.
When my husband died, I became very sympathetic to caregivers. I would invite them to my gatherings even though I knew the answer was No. Just to make them feel they are still apart of society. I would hear them thank me for the invitation. If they couldn’t come, and most of the time they couldn’t, I would send some of the food I made to them, this too makes them feel a part of society. These are forgotten individuals, and what is sad they are forgotten by the people who are suppose to care, their friends. Before it is over and as we age, all of us could at one time or the other be caregivers, or we ourselves could be the one that is being cared for. I care more, because I went through being a caregiver and learned how it felt, and I want to help by telling people how it feels, so they can show kindness to caregivers.
When we care about these individuals, caregivers, you give them the strength to continue. Of course I know our main strength comes from God. But there is a song that Nancy Wilson sang, it is call Heaven’s Hands. We are heaven’s hands, Jehovah God works through people. He can move people to do what they need to.
Even though when I started this, it was about helping caregivers to see there may be easy ways for them to make a living. I know that even when we have our outings of working or shopping. We still need to feel we are part of the life we once had, that is still going on, outside of our homes. So please call the individuals, don’t just feel sorry for them, and talk about their situation to your other friends. Figure out ways you can be of assistance. And being of assistance isn’t always going over and helping them with the individual, sometimes it is just calling and talking, filling up the time space so to speak.
Go and visit the caregiver, they appreciate it so much. I send cards, I love the ones on the internet because they sing and talk. American Greetings have a membership you can join. These cards are something to make their day, it let’s them know that someone was thinking about them.
So I am hoping that we don’t just be so concerned about what is going on in our own lives, that we can’t spread a little sunshine in someone else’s life. I am talking to young people too, because in this day and time anyone may have to be a caregiver. Also if you are a family member, don’t just leave the one family member to take care of the one family member that needs care, try to help in some way. Give the one who is caring for the family member a break. If you can’t help in a meaningful way at least let the individual know how much you appreciate them, filling in for you.
I have a friend who I thought set such a good example, because what she did was take some of her vacation and helped out with her mother. She and her sisters (like me and my sisters) would get together to discuss what they could do as a family to take care of their mother. Her mother died, and she just didn’t leave everything for her sisters to do, like getting all the furniture and stuff sold and getting rid of things, she helped. She didn’t want her sisters to go it alone. It was a family effort.
Then there are people like a cousin of mine who set a bad example. Her father was sick for years, and so her older sister was his caregiver. My cousin, (her older sister) was telling me, that she would be sitting on the front porch, and see her sister wave at her as she passed by. Never came over to help with her own father. My uncle finally died, and it had been some years now, but my cousin who was the caregiver, still can’t believe that her sister treated her that way. She said how trapped she felt. But when my uncle died, you know every one was over there then, with their hands out.
Our caregivers are wonderful people, we really appreciate the service that they perform. They are round the clock nurses, cooks, maids and anything they can do for the individual.
This is for the caregiver, allow others to help. Some feel guilty when they allow others to help them. The stress that care-giving can put you under, can cause the caregiver to become ill. Just see if there are even FACEBOOK chapters that cater to your particular condition or disease you or your loved one is dealing with. You will be surprised at the things you can learn from others working in you situation.
So Caregivers you are loved. Meditate and pray for continued strength, that is what helped me. And when I thought I could go no further, I saw God work in my behalf and watch roads open up for me to pass through and that gave me such strength.